The best part of motorcycle road tripping is the company you ride with
We have a saying here at Road Dirt that we feel defines us- “Relationships are everything.” Our passion for motorcycling is best enjoyed in the company of friends and family, and photographer Steve Groth’s recent road trip story perfectly illustrates our maxim. Steve shoots flat track, MotoAmerica road racing, and occasionally motocross for us, along with his wife Karen who is also a very capable photog. A retired school teacher, Steve not only shoots motorcycling, he is an avid rider himself, touring the country for years on two wheels.
A recent road trip Steve described led us to publish this photo essay, and the story behind it. Steve made the westbound trip with a former student of his, Mike Greenwood, a good friend of Steve’s as well as Mike’s father John, whom interestingly had also been a student of Steve’s back in 1980. A two-generation friendship. Mike’s father passed away two years ago, and Steve has been there for Mike and his family in the years since.
Relationships are everything
In making this epic road trip together, Steve and Mike perfectly illustrate the camaraderie we all share in motorcycle riding, and just how deep those friendships can run. Steve still lives in Oswego, Illinois where he taught for 35 years, while Mike now lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Yet the two still share common interests of photography, woodworking (something Mike learned from Steve in high school shop classes), and of course motorcycling whenever they can get together.
On this year’s trip, Steve rode his trusty 2018 Honda Goldwing, the ultimate sport tourer, while Mike rode his 2007 BMW R1200 GS adventure touring machine. The friends met up in Des Moines and rolled toward South Dakota to tour Deadwood, the Badlands, Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Needles Highway, and Spearfish Canyon, among other scenic sights. Their trip was interspersed with days of abundant sunshine as well as torrential rains, but the generational friends rode, photographed and made memories both will cherish for a lifetime. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?
So here’s a photo essay of Steve & Mike’s epic adventure, with Steve’s descriptions.
Mike captured this spectacular shot in the Badlands outside Wall, South Dakota. We would soon be slammed with torrential rains brewing in the background, but this was such an incredible moment.
We rode the Mount Rushmore National Forest as well as Iron Mountain Road, and each took turns making passes to capture these shots.
Mike on his Beemer is a great rider, on and off-road. My Goldwing doesn’t lend itself to many dirt paths, but Mike rode a few while I enjoyed coffee somewhere.
So many iconic spots to snap photos, and this was one we thought looked really good.
Mike strafing Iron Mountain Road. Note the hairpin curve sign behind him.
Mike being a great photographer himself, snapped a few of me as I throttled by on the big Wing. Somewhere on Iron Mountain Road.
I reciprocated, and shot a few of Mike at speed as well. It’s not very often a pair of photography nerds get to take turns shooting each other while out on a road trip, so we practiced motion shots like these quite often. Lots of fun.
This is one of my faves that Mike shot, this wood-railed bridge crossing on Iron Mountain Road.
I shot a few of Mike around this rock-lined curve, which made a great, rugged backdrop.
A photo of a series of waterfalls in Spearfish Canyon, experimenting with flowing water and color. We both enjoyed shooting this spot.
Two friends, young and old(er) enjoying this beautiful land of ours, and a friendship that spans two generations- first with his father, and now with Mike. I’m very thankful.